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[296] All this had not failed of its legitimate fruit — bitter hatreds and an intense desire for revenge — and now the tables were turned and the opportunity apparently offered. It was fortunate that so few Kentuckians were in our army, and that it was not commanded by a Kentuckian. It would have been next to impossible for him to have refused to adopt a retaliatory policy, which the returned Kentuckians urged with almost one voice, or to limit the extent to which it would have been carried. General Smith wisely and humanely adopted a moderate policy. The persons and property of Union men were scrupulously respected and protected. If, as sometimes, though rarely, happened, a soldier took anything from a Union man, immediately, upon application to the proper authorities, the property was restored and the offender brought to trial and punishment. As an instance of the just and liberal policy pursued — a physician, an Union man, claimed a case of surgical instruments which had been captured with the Federal stores, alleging that they had been forcibly taken from him by a Federal surgeon, and, upon proof of the allegation, received it. No army ever conducted itself with greater propriety; no commander ever acquired a higher reputation for justice and humanity. The excellent effects of this gentle policy were soon manifest. The Union men came from their houses, mingling freely with us, and extending many acts of courtesy. They readily admitted the supriority of our soldiers over the Federals, and declared that even the privates in the ranks seemed to be gentlemen in bearing and intelligence, as, in fact, for the most part they were. They had been led to believe, even the more intelligent among them, that we were little better than savages, and manifested great surprise in finding us so very different.

On the other hand, the Southern men did not rally very rapidly to our standards. They had not expected us, and could not, for a long time, comprehend our victory and occupation. They had borne the Federal yoke so long, and with so little hope of relief, that at last they came to wear it patiently. Reading only Federal papers and hearing only Federal orators, they were forced to belive in the great preponderance of Federal power. They were, in reality, subjugated. The adventurous spirits were already in the Southern ranks; there were no leaders; they had not studied the great questions at issue so thoroughly as we had; their sympathies were certainly with us, but they could not see very clearly that their interests were also. Thus situated, it could not be expected that they would be prepared to rise in arms at a moment's notice. Those who anticipated otherwise based their calculations upon an erroneous estimate of human nature. In time, as their doubts

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S. A. Smith (1)
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